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Missouri lawmakers debate meth-proof form of pseudoephedrine

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Cold medicine

Cold medicines contain the key ingredient in meth, pseudoephedrine. (P-D file photo)

A Missouri House of Representatives committee is debating a bill today that would require prescriptions for all pseudoephedrine products except those made with a locally developed methamphetamine-proof form of the decongestant.

Rep. Dave Schatz R-Sullivan filed the bill Monday after learning that preliminary testing by law enforcement agencies have proven that meth cannot be made from the product, called Releva.

"This will be a win-win for Missourians simply because meth labs as we know it will disappear and it will allow access to legitimate customers," Schatz said last week. "That’s been the biggest factors in limiting access to it...It's almost too good to be true."

The technology that prevents the pseudoephedrine from being extracted from the product is called Tarex, and was developed by Maryland Heights-based Highland Pharmaceuticals.

Narcotics detectives with the Franklin County Sheriff's Department have not been able to make methamphetamine out of the product, said Sgt. Jason Grellner.

"This is a game changer," he said.

The Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee is the first stop for the bill, which Schatz said has been filed late in the session.

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Christine Byers is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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